lundi 26 septembre 2005

Museum upon a hill.

The first time I saw the new Getty after it'd been completed, I thought it was an atrocity. This big hunk of white, sitting on a hill overlooking the 405 - egads, it was an eyesore, especially in comparison to the old Getty villa, a replica of a villa in Herculaneum. It didn't help that at the time I was working at another museum, and there was all sorts of bias against this huge white monstrosity, which, in our opinion, had a far inferior art collection, a poor collections policy - and did I mention how gigantic and white the building was? The first time I visited was with a research fellow from the museum I was at, and well, that didn't endear me any more towards the Getty.

I held this bias against the Getty for a long time.

But times change, and opinions do as well, you know. For once upon a time I used to love impressionism, and now, aside from being interested in the deft technique, find it rather uninteresting. And I used to hate all art after 1900, but took a class on precisely that time period (I'm not sure why I took it in the first place. I think it's 'cause the professor was a great lecturer and I was sort of involved with an art history major at the time) and developed a greater appreciation for it.

Y'all know where this is going.

I didn't visit the Getty again for 4 years, when I had an internship that took us around to different museums on field trips. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why we only went to museums, as only one intern worked in the fine arts department. Anyways, yes, the Getty was obviously one of the many places we visited, and we were dragged on the architecture tour - and I was hooked.

Just like any inhabitant of any city with major attractions, it's a real shame that I unfortunately don't find myself there very often unless visitors are in town. It's grown on me, rather like a fungus, but an attractive one that appeals to my burgeoning OCDness, what with all the whiteness and clean and orderly lines. The architecture tour is fun, and even though I've gone on it a number of times by now, I always learn something new (and feel slightly superior when I realise the guide's forgotten something I learned on a past trip).

Not such a clear day.

On a clear day, you can see all the way inland to downtown and all the way out to the beach. You can't get more magnificent views of a magnificent city.

The art, however? Still not so impressive, especially compared to the building.